Stealth Transactions and Reusable Payment Codes: How Bitcoin Addresses Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight

Bitcoin, right now, is not really anonymous. While Bitcoin addresses aren’t necessarily linked to real-world identities, they can be. Monitoring the unencrypted peer-to-peer network, analysis of the public blockchain and know your customer (KYC) policy or anti-money laundering (AML) regulation can reveal a lot about who’s using bitcoin and for what.

This is not great from a privacy perspective. Bitcoin users might not necessarily want the world to know where they spend their money, what they earn or how much they own, while businesses may not want to leak transaction details to competitors, to name some examples.

Additionally, bitcoins being traceable, possibly “tainted,” and potentially worth less than other bitcoins is at odds with fungibility. This could even challenge bitcoin’s value proposition as money.

But there are potential solutions to increase privacy and improve fungibility.

One solution to address this issue – Stealth Transactions – was introduced in 2014; and a new twist on this concept – Reusable Payment Codes – was proposed last year.

The Problem

In part to increase privacy (there are security benefits as well), it is recommended that Bitcoin users generate a brand new address for each transaction they receive. While this is not an airtight solution in itself, this can

Read more ... source: TheBitcoinNews

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